Photo: Standing up for snappers

(credit: Jeremiah John McBride via Flickr)

After surviving 40 million years on Earth, Canada's largest terrestrial reptile is in serious danger. Every day, this lumbering creature contends with toxic chemicals in its wetland habitat and cars whizzing by on the highway, not to mention hunters with a penchant for turtle soup.

That's right. Even though snappers are listed under Canada's federal endangered species law, anyone in Ontario with a valid fishing or hunting licence can catch up to two per day.

That's why the David Suzuki Foundation has raised its voice on behalf of snapping turtles, demanding an end to the hunt in Ontario. A recent report entitled The Road to Extinction: a call to end the snapping turtle hunt, which we produced in partnership with Ontario Nature and the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, attracted widespread media attention across the country. Thousands of Canadians responded by sending letters to the Ontario government, insisting it protect the turtles from hunting.

Snappers already face enormous natural challenges; although they can live up to 100 years, it takes them 15 to 20 to reach full maturity. As a result, adult mortality greatly affects the survival of the entire species.

You can help ensure their survival by sending a letter to the Ontario government.